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Theodore Roosevelt Legacy and Accomplishments

Updated on September 29, 2010

President Theodore Roosevelt

26th President of the United States
26th President of the United States

Theodore Roosevelt Accomplishments

President Theodore Roosevelt was surely one of the greatest United States presidents. He was a man of many accomplishments. Teddy Roosevelt was a volunteer Rough Rider in the Spanish-American War. Before becoming president, he was Secretary of the Navy. Roosevelt was a published author.

What many people may not know about Theodore Roosevelt is the deep gratitude we owe him. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to seriously think about saving some of the beauty of the United States for future generations. With Roosevelt in office, more than 200 million acres of land in the United States was conserved.

Theodore Roosevelt and Conservationist John Muir

Theodore Roosevelt the Conservationist

Passenger pigeons became extinct about the time of Roosevelt's presidency. Roosevelt then established the first National Bird Preserve in Florida in 1903. This was the start of the Wildlife Refuge System in the United States. This would be the first of many acts by President Roosevelt to conserve land and important historical and archaeological sites throughout the United States.

The United States Forest Service was established while Teddy Roosevelt was president. Many national parks and preserves were set up by President Roosevelt. Some of the areas that President Roosevelt placed under protection were the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake National Park, and the Mesa Verde National Park.

Devil's Tower

1st national monument established by Theodore Roosevelt
1st national monument established by Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt's Antiquities Act

Theodore Roosevelt also passed the Antiquities Act in 1906. This act allowed presidents to preserve sites as national monuments without needing approval of Congress. The very first national monument established by Theodore Roosevelt was the Devil's Tower in Wyoming. This act also allowed Theodore Roosevelt to protect the Grand Canyon after failing to make it a national park. Since the Antiquities Act was passed, it has been implemented more than 100 times.

Grand Canyon

Legacy of Theodore Roosevelt

The next time you are lucky enough to be awed by the miracle of the Grand Canyon or the beauty of Cades Coves in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, give a little thanks to Teddy Roosevelt. Without him, it is almost certain that these areas would have been swallowed up by miners, real estate developers, oil corporations, and forestry companies.


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